At least that’s the verdict of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which today struck down a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order from 2010 that forced Internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable to abide by the principles of network neutrality. These principles broadly stipulate that ISP network management must be transparent, and that ISPs can’t engage in practices that block, stifle or discriminate against (lawful) websites or traffic types on the Internet.
That’s the bare bones story, wrapped in ugly acronyms (FCC, ISP, etc.). But why should you care that network neutrality (“net neutrality”) may be gone for good?
1. No more net neutrality means ISPs can now discriminate against content they dislike.
Everyone gets their Internet from an Internet service provider — an ISP like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast or Time Warner Cable. Under net neutrality rules, these ISPs have to treat all content you access over the Internet “roughly the same way" — they can’t speed up traffic from websites they like or delay competitor’s traffic.
3. Destroying net neutrality is bad for small businesses.
Put together items one and two and it becomes clear — negating net neutrality is bad for small businesses. If ISPs force website owners pay for faster load times, tiny retailers and personal websites will be the ones to suffer from slower content delivery.
Alternately — or additionally — ISPs will have no reason not to favor partner sites: Time Warner Cable, for instance, might favor the website of CNN (owned by the Time Warner Corporation) over the websites of competing cable news networks MSNBC and Fox News. Still, it’s the indies again that will lose out here. While Time Warner Cable might favor CNN and Comcast MSNBC, independent news networks almost certainly won’t get special treatment from any ISPs. Expand this out to music sites, web publishing, etc., and you begin to see the problem.
4. Without net neutrality, entire types of online traffic (like Netflix) may be in jeopardy.
Netflix watchers and BitTorrent users might want to beware — soon your beloved services may not work like they used to. Now that net neutrality’s down for the count, ISPs can discriminate against entire types of traffic: For instance, an ISP could slow or block all peer-to-peer file sharing, or all online video streaming.
Think it sounds unbelievably stupid for an ISP to stifle a certain traffic types indiscriminately? Comcast has seen reason to stifle both streaming video and peer-to-peer in the past.
5. Without net neutrality, your ISPs can make even more money without actually improving the Internet.
Right now, America’s broadband is slow. It’s slow because ISPs can already make gobs of money by charging the rich a ton for high-quality Internet while leaving the rest of America with subpar (or no) service.
The question, “If I were President I’d…” implies that if you swap out one leader, put in another, then all will be well with America—as though our leaders are the cause of all ailments.
That must be why we’ve created a tradition of rampant attacks on our politicians. Are they too conservative for you? Too liberal? Too religious? Too atheist? Too gay? Too anti-gay? Too rich? Too dumb? Too smart? Too ethnic? Too philanderous? Curious behavior, given that we elect 88% of Congress every two years.
A second tradition-in-progress is the expectation that everyone else in our culturally pluralistic land should hold exactly your own outlook, on all issues.
When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you. It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.
One objective reality is that our government doesn’t work, not because we have dysfunctional politicians, but because we have dysfunctional voters. As a scientist and educator, my goal, then, is not to become President and lead a dysfunctional electorate, but to enlighten the electorate so they might choose the right leaders in the first place.
This is a beautiful, informative and insightful article all men everyone needs to read for a more intimate understanding of the biological/neurological awe we continue to acquire via neuroscience. Not to mention the signal boost this deserves for the incredibly important bridge between ignorance and knowledge it provides for women’s rights, among many other things. Read the article from brainpickings for more.
everybody has that one game that completely ruined them like for better or worse there’s that one game with a plot that destroyed your insides and characters that stole your heart and art and design that reduced you to tears and you just want to hold the game in your arms and cry like a small child bc it’s your game
I know far too much about Star Wars. And so, so much of this is in relation to the Expanded Universe (aka the EU,) which is basically the official uber-geek term for Star Wars books and comics. Don…
I think Thrawn is my favorite antagonist of the Star Wars expanded universe. (I have read quite a few, but definitely not nearly all or even half of what is out there) Needless to say, I love the Thrawn trilogy. Personally, I would recommend Outbound Flight too, as I enjoyed hearing more of Jorus C’Boath and the Outbound Flight project and also the first appearance of [a much younger] Thrawn. Fuck Yeah Mitth’raw’nuruodo!